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OLAF FUB SEZ: It was British essayist Robert Lynd (1879-1949) who observed, "Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 336, the first recorded celebration of Christmas on Dec. 25 took place in Rome . . . In 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned king of England . . . In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy . . . In 1776, Gen. George Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces camped at Trenton, N.J. The crossing is depicted in the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze . . . In 1818, the Christmas carol "Silent Night" by Franz Joseph Gruber and Joseph Mohr was sung in the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria . . . In 1821, the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, was born in Oxford, Mass. . . .

There's a tear in my beer

'cause I didn't get a deer

Spook them you should not

for you rarely get a shot

Although I had my times

I only saw behinds

Another tear in my beer

'cause I didn't tag a deer

The lucky one who made it count

he can show his trophy mount

When this season is over and done

many will still be on the run

More tears in my beer

'cause I didn't get a deer.

-- Peter Rich

TOUGH DUTY -- Tom George, Ph.D., dean of natural sciences and mathematics and professor of physics and astronomy at the University at Buffalo, is co-ordinating a U.S.-Japan conference Thursday through Sunday on how nature accomplishes photosynthesis -- the conversion of sunlight to chemical compounds essential to life -- and how scientists might learn to mimic it.

The conference, titled "Theoretical Approaches to Energy Transfer and Photochemical Processes" and supported by the National Science Foundation, will bring together U.S. and Japanese theoretical chemists and physicists to discuss aspects of photosynthesis and photoconversion at the microscopic, molecular level. The conference is being held in sunny Honolulu, but, according to George, that's because Hawaii is roughly the midpoint between the United States mainland and Japan. . . .

NEIGHBORHOOD PRIDE -- If you get a chance, drive around the East Lovejoy neighborhood on the city's Far East Side and take a gander at the beautiful job residents and business people have done in decorating their homes and storefronts this Christmas season.

"It is a pleasure to walk or drive around our streets," said Marge Thielman Hastreiter, an author and neighborhood historian. . . .

Tis the Season
People overindulge either with food or wine,

Because they have no strength of will to decline,

When attending parties this special time of year,

So many well- meaning friends offer goodies and good "cheer."

-- Honey Snitzer
NO MISTAKING the message on the vanity license plate of a 1949 Ford spotted by one of Olaf's alert Blasdell operatives. The plate reads: 1949FORD. . . .

KLEINHANS HAS announced it will send a Buffalo Bills T-shirt to Western New York servicemen stationed in Saudi Arabia.

Order blanks will begin to appear in the company's ads shortly after Jan. 1.

T-shirts can also be ordered by calling Kleinhans at 875-1801 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by fax at 875-0632 anytime, or by stopping at any Kleinhans store.

The following information is required: the recipient's name and address in Saudi Arabia, the name and telephone number of a local contact to verify the address before shipping, and the size.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Tom Grady, Jeffrey Jezioro, Jack Kennedy Jr., Benny Higgins, David Pesch, Ray Caton, Jerry Evans Jr., Gus Higgins, Lori Kelly, Jill Gedra, Carol Prendergast, Holly Jean Gasuik, Anthony Emiliani, Shawn Brown, Michael Kalinka Jr., Ida Russo, Kim Lewandowski, Allan Hauth, Nancy Fazio, Gladys Oates, Vincent Canname Sr., Kerry Morris, Anthony Elliott, Steve Kishel, Bud Lauber, Natalie McCone, Anders Deitz Swenson, Robert Simmons, Alfred Pache, Margaret Miller, Julie Isch, Erin Shaw, Jini Flynn, Vince Haaland, Mary Shimskey, Brigid Cusick and Michael Shea.

Merry Christmas!

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